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A marketing agency told its employees that they were free to seek other employment after suffering a ransomware infection.

On January 2nd, the Heritage Company released a statement in which it explained that it had made some progress in its recovery efforts following a ransomware attack. The company qualified this statement, however, by stating that it still had some work to do. It therefore informed its employees that “we do not prevent you from searching for other employment.”

This statement follows on the heels of a letter released by Sandra Franecke, CEO of the Heritage Company, just before Christmas. In that message, Franecke told employees that the telemarketing agency would temporarily halt its operations over the holidays in an attempt to reorganize and thereby recover hundreds of thousands of dollars lost in the ransomware attack. She then instructed employees to call back on January 2nd to receive an update about the company’s progress.

T Murphy, a now-former employee of the Heritage Company, said she never expected the company to actually reopen its doors after the holidays. As she told KATV:

Most of us are convinced that they’re not going to reopen. I’m pretty sure they’re just buying time because they know as soon as they’re not going to reopen we’re going to have to get a settlement and I think they just don’t want us to take them to court.

She went on to explain that she was now working as a janitor and that she hoped the company’s other 300+ former employees would find financial security going forward.

It’s unclear at this time whether the Heritage Company will ever reopen its doors following the completion of its reorganization efforts.

This attack serves as a reminder for organizations to defend themselves against a ransomware infection. They can do this best by working to prevent a ransomware attack in the first place. This resource serves as a great place to start.